About the Free Interpreting Service

Who is eligible?

The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) provides free interpreting services to non-English speaking Australian citizens and permanent residents communicating with approved groups and individuals on behalf of the Department of Social Services.

Free services are delivered through TIS National to:

Note: In addition to Australian citizens and permanent residents, private medical practitioners and pharmacies can use the Free Interpreting Service to communicate with Temporary Humanitarian Stay (subclass 449); Temporary Humanitarian Concern (subclass 786); Temporary Protection (subclass 785); and Safe Haven Enterprise (subclass 790) visa holders.

  • non-profit, non-government, community-based organisations for case work and emergency services where the organisation does not receive substantial government funding to provide these services

Note: Non-government organisations that require language services (such as interpreting) and receive government funding should incorporate the cost of these services into their application for funding.

  • Members of Parliament for constituency purposes

  • local government authorities who communicate with non-English speaking residents on issues such as rates, garbage collection and urban services

  • trade unions who respond to members’ enquiries or requests

  • pharmacies for the purpose of dispensing the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medications

  • licensed real estate agencies for discussing private residential property matters (rental or sales).

Eligible groups and individual service providers can access both phone and on-site interpreting services, with the exception of real estate agencies and pharmacies who can access phone interpreting services only. 

Use our eligibility calculator to find out if you are eligible for free services through TIS National.

Phone interpreting​

Automated Telephone Interpreting Service (ATIS)
Our automatic voice-prompted interpreting service is the fastest way to request an immediate phone interpreter. This service is available for agency clients who need to use an interpreter immediately over the phone.

 

Call 1800 131 450 and say the language you need. Make sure you have your ATIS account number and ATIS access number, this is different to your client code.

Register for ATIS by completing the ATIS application form on our website.

If you already have an ATIS account but do not know your ATIS account/access number, contact our Language Policy Liaison team.

Important: ATIS cannot create a conference call for you. Check you are using a phone that has conferencing ability to call your non-English speaker if they're not with you.

View more information about ATIS including languages available

Watch the ATIS video

Immediate phone interpreting
Available for agency clients and non-English speakers who need to use an interpreter immediately over the phone.

Call the TIS National Contact Centre on 131 450 at any time of day or night to access an immediate phone interpreter.

Pre-booked phone interpreting
Available for agency clients to book a phone interpreter in advance of an appointment.

Requests for the pre-booked phone service should be actioned using the online pre booked phone interpreter booking form.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Face-to-face

On-site interpreting service(subject to eligibility)
Available for eligible agency clients to book an interpreter to attend an appointment face-to-face.

On-site interpreting services can only be requested throughTIS Online, our automated booking tool.

Login toTIS Online.

Contact the TIS Online Support team for on-site interpreter enquires.

How to apply for free services through TIS National

Not-for-profit, non-government, community-based organisations can apply for free interpreting services through TIS National by completing the application for the Free Interpreting Service for Non-Government Organisations form.

All other approved groups or individuals, as listed above, should complete the client registration form to apply to access TIS National services.

More information is available about the Free Interpreting Service on the Department of Social Services website.
For enquiries about eligibility for free interpreting submit our online contact us form.